Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Brocade Communications - BRCD - close 5.68 change -0.04 stop 5.34

Target(s): 5.95, 6.20, 6.50
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 6.60, 6.20, 6.00, 5.75, 5.40, 5.00
Current Gain/Loss: -1.22%
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks
New Positions: Yes

Comments:
9/18: I am concerned about BRCD per my 9/15 comments. However, the stock has held its ground and remains in a bull flag. It could just as easily break higher or lower. If a breakout occurs before a pullback I suggest readers begin to look for an exit or tighten stops to protect profits. $5.95 and $6.20 are the primary targets.

9/15: Oh what a day makes. At an analyst day this afternoon BRCD said they were expecting gross margins to be at the low end of their estimated range in 2011. This news sent the stock tumbling. As such, I want to tighten the stop $5.34 and suggest we step aside if it is hit. I've lowered the first target to $5.95 which is just below today's high.

9/14: BRCD pulled a repeat of yesterday and printed its third consecutive bottoming tail candlestick. The stock remains in a bull flag but could pullback with the broader market. I think pullbacks can be bought and will be short lived.

Current Position: Long BRCD stock, entry was at $5.75

Options Traders: Long October $6 CALL

Annotated chart:

Entry on September 10, 2010
Earnings 11/23/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 12.7 million
Listed on September 4, 2010


Noble Corp - NE - close 35.08 change +0.59 stop 32.25

Target(s): 35.90, 36.80, 38.30
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 36.95, 38.50, 33.50
Current Gain/Loss: +1.39%
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks
New Positions: Yes

Comments:
9/18: NE made a nice recovery today closing +1.7% on the day. The stock remains in a bull flag on its daily chart. If we break higher prior to a pullback I suggest readers look for an exit or tighten stops to lock in profits. I've added $35.90 as a target which is approximately +4% from our entry, while $36.80 is +6%. I'll be looking to take profits or tighten stops as these levels approach. 9/15: NE traded down to $34.36 and bounced hard into the close. Our first target is just under the 200-day SMA and near the 8/4 highs. Our stop is below the converging 20, 50, and 100 day moving averages. My comments from the play release remain the same.

9/13 & 9/14: We are waiting to be triggered at $34.60, which is about -2% lower from current levels. My comments from the play release below have not changed.

9/11: Fundamentally NE is a cheap stock that trades at a PE under 7. Technically, the stock broke out of a downtrend line that began on 4/27. Volume has been picking up as the stock is moving higher and it is also consolidating near its highs on lighter volume, which is a bullish sign. I suggest we use a trigger of $34.60 to open long positions. Our two targets are +6.5% and +10.5% higher. Our initial stop will be $32.25 which is below the rising 20-day and 50-day SMA's.

Current Position: Long NE stock, entry was at $34.60

Options Traders: Long October $36.00 CALL

Annotated chart:

Entry on September 15, 2010
Earnings 10/20/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.7 million
Listed on September 11, 2010


Northern Oil & Gas - NOG - close 15.06 change -0.04 stop 14.25

Target(s): 15.68, 15.95, 16.50
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 17.25, 16.20, 15.75, 15.00, 14.60
Current Gain/Loss: +0.07%
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks
New Positions: Yes

Comments:
9/18: NOG bounced nicely off of its 50-day SMA on Thursday and remains above support. The stock is forming bull flag on its daily chart and we're looking for a breakout. If NOG heads higher before going lower be prepared to take profits as our targets approach. I'm concerned we may see a spike higher only to see it fail. I've added a target of $15.68 which is +4% higher than our entry. My comments from below remain valid.

9/14: We are long NOG at $15.05. There is solid support all the way down to $14.60 including an upward trend line, the 20 and 50-day moving averages and prior support/resistance levels. Pullbacks should get bought and I like new positions on any further dips. Our first target has been lowered 5 cents to $15.95 which is +6% higher than our entry. The play release is below.

9/8: Oil and oil stocks should do well on the slightest prospects of an economic recovery. NOG is a land based driller with major assets in the Bakken region in North Dakota, which is one of the largest discoveries of proven oil reserves ever found in the United States. NOG is forming a bull flag on its daily chart and looks poised to breakout. The stock is consolidating above all of its major moving averages which should also help to provide support on any pullbacks. I suggest readers use a trigger $15.05 to initiate long positions. Our two targets are +6% and +9% higher. Our stop is below all of the moving averages and the recent upward trend line.

Current Position: Long NOG stock, entry was at $15.05

Options Traders: Long October $15.00 CALL

Annotated chart:

Entry on September 14, 2010
Earnings 10/25/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 506,000
Listed on September 8, 2010


iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures - VXX - close 17.16 change -0.22 stop 16.60

Target(s): 18.45, 19.50, 20.40
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 17.50, 18.50, 19.75, 20.60
Current Gain/Loss: -3.05%
Time Frame: 1 week
New Positions: Yes

Comments:
NOTE: I view this as an aggressive trade so small position size is recommended. Long VXX is a bearish play on equities, however, it is listed as long play because we are long the underlying instrument.

9/18: My guess is that a breakout prior to a pullback will most likely stop us out in VXX. But I like volatility here as the market is in much need of a healthy pullback. A pullback will likely be fast and furious and VXX should spike 5% to 10% which will give us an opportunity to close this position for a profit. I've added a target of $18.50. Be ready to take profits or tighten stops to protect them as our targets approach. My comments from below have not changed.

9/15: VXX opened higher today but struggled to hold on to its gains as the market recovered from early losses. Tomorrow's jobless claims is likely to set the tone for the broader market for the remainder of the week. If there is a sell-off I can easily see VXX surging 5% to 10% higher. Otherwise, it will inch closer to our stop and we may need to exhibit some patience.

9/13: The market is overbought and needs a healthy pullback to regain its energy. Traders are getting complacent and I believe there will be a spike in volatility in the coming days. VXX printed a new 52-week low today which barely undercut its 4/21 low which was just before the S&P 500 began to sell-off in earnest. This creates a potential double bottom set-up and I suggest readers initiate long positions at current levels. I also view this as a good hedge against our open long positions in the model portfolio. Our profit targets are +11% and +16% from current levels.

Current Position: Long VXX stock, entry was at 17.70

Options Traders: Long October $19.00 CALL

Annotated chart:

Entry on September 14, 2010
Earnings N/A (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 21 million
Listed on September 13, 2010


BEARISH Play Updates

Freeport-McMoRan - FCX - close 81.72 change +0.01 stop 84.55

Target(s): 79.40, 78.00, 76.80
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 84.25, 76.50, 75.00
Current Gain/Loss: -0.95%
Time Frame: 1 week
New Positions: Yes

Comments:
9/18: FCX looks toppy and ready for pullback, but then again most things do right now. We are looking for a retracement of some of the recent gains which could come quick and hit our targets. Be ready to close positions if it occurs.

9/15: FCX looked vulnerable this morning but recovered with the remainder of the market. We are short the stock at $80.95 and are looking for a move down towards the August highs. My comments from the play release below have not changed.

9/14: FCX has gained nearly +20% since its low on 8/25 less than 3 weeks ago. The stock has surged higher, virtually in a straight line with little to no pause. FCX has rallied right into its primary downtrend line from its January highs and also closed at a prior resistance level from mid-March. This type of move is not sustainable and I suggest readers open short positions at current levels and play for a retracement of the stock's recent gains. Our primary target is $76.80 which is about -5.5% lower than current levels, and also just above a 38.2% retracement from the 8/25 lows to today's highs. For options traders, if this target is reached it should produce a gain of approximately +60% to +65%. This could be a quick trade and a good strategy would be to immediately place a "good til cancelled" or "one cancels the other" order immediately after the position is entered and be ready to take profits or get out should our stop get hit.

Current Position: Short FCX stock, entry was at $80.95

Options Traders: Long October $75.00 PUT

Annotated chart:

Entry on September 15, 2008
Earnings: 10/20/2010 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10 million
Listed on September 14, 2010


Intuit, Inc. - INTU - close 44.88 change +0.01 stop 45.52

Target(s): 42.90, 42.20, 41.40
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 45.00, 43.25, 42.00, 41.35, 50-day SMA
Current Gain/Loss: -3.58%
Time Frame: 1 to 2 weeks
New Positions: Yes, with tight stops

Comments:
9/18: We could be in trouble in this play as the stock broke its intraday downtrend line on Thursday and is consolidating near its all-time highs. A double top scenario is still in play but broader market strength will most likely cause our stop to get hit. I like new positions here with tight stops, i.e. you are either right or right out of the trade with little at risk. I've adjusted the targets and the stop up a few cents. If INTU falls be ready to close positions or tighten stops as I think dips will get bought.

9/11: We got a little unlucky with the gap lower in INTU on Friday but it was expected on the heels of a downgrade. Nonetheless, I'm looking for the stock to continue lower. The broader market will most likely determine how far this goes. Our first two targets are -3% and -4.5% lower from here. The play write-up is below.

9/9: UBS cut its rating on INTU from neutral to buy this afternoon, which is when the selling in the stock began in earnest. In addition, price targets from other analysts are in the $45 range which INTU printed on Tuesday. The stock also printed all-time highs on Tuesday but is showing signs of an imminent decline, especially if the broader market pulls back. Tuesday's candlestick is a reversal pattern and it was confirmed today with a bearish engulfing candlestick. I suggest readers initiate short positions at current levels and play for a pullback to our targets which are near three support/resistance levels. Our stop will be just over Tuesday's high. Our targets are -4.5% to -8% below current levels. I also think this is a good play to consider options which creates defined risk. For example, buying 4 contracts of the October $42.50 strike for 90 cents (mid point of the current bid/ask spread) will cost you $360.00. Should INTU stock move -$1.50 lower over the next 1 to 2 weeks those options should be worth about $1.40. This would represent a +55% gain (or a $200 return on your $360 at risk). I bring this up due to all of the M&A activity and I would rather see readers protect against a large gap if INTU happens to be a takeover target, although I haven't heard anything to substantiate this. Simply put, the stock looks ready for a pullback. Please email me with any questions.

Current Position: Short INTU stock, entry was at $43.33

Option Traders: Long October $42.50 PUTS

Annotated chart:

Entry on September, 10, 2010
Earnings: 11/18/2010 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4 million
Listed on September 9, 2010